Where to direct my brain for exercise nowadays is tricky. Use it or lose it, the saying goes. We live in interesting times – a description some think to be to be a colorful curse, and I don’t like wasting resources that might be waning! Reading is a super workout for the little gray cells – However, as much as I like a good read, I love a good movie. And this year we had aplenty!
Unfortunately, the annual self-congratulatory party the movie industry throws itself was enough to make me swear off future viewing. I sure wasted some wits watching the 2013 Oscars! Oscar night has not been the most edifying TV viewing for several years – or entertaining. The years when the movies had “too much ‘Good Friday’ and not enough ‘Easter’,” a description used by Martin Scorsese’s priest, I skipped Oscar night. This year though, I had seen three of the films, and liked them. (Spirituality at the Oscars) So, I tuned in and taped it.
I understood the host’s humor would be edgy – but he was never that good. Though a current cultural icon, I don’t remember his name – and won’t try to retrieve it. He was a regrettable case in point of how miserable the modern propensity of mocking plays. (The Last Laugh) None of his verbal skewers were much above the bathroom or gutter humor, until a zinger about John Wilkes Booth and Abraham Lincoln took it lower, made me recoil.
Yes, I am about to wrap myself up in robes of righteous indignation. But please bear with me.
That an American could mock the assassination of the 16th President of the United States, given the powerful movie in the running this year for so many awards, floored me. That any in the audience would laugh shows how poorly we grasp the history to which the movie, Lincoln, referred! How could anyone joke about gun violence – much less, we laugh about? And what are we thinking about if we laugh?
Am I missing something?
Yeah – I am missing about the hour and half that it took me to fast forward through a disappointing and depressing extravaganza.
8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. (Philippians 4:8 The Message)